What Are Some of the Possible Consequences of Invasion of Privacy?

Some of the possible consequences of invasion of privacy for the victim or plaintiff are suffering from the disclosure of private facts, false light or intrusion. Any of these results can result in a civil suit in which a defendant can be found liable for invasion of privacy or a violation of the plaintiff’s personal rights. In the United States, the legal premise is that an individual has the right to be left alone, which is referred to as the right of privacy.

Journalists and photographers stand the risk of becoming defendants in civil suits in which they can be sued for monetary damages. Media professionals can, however, protect themselves by obtaining a release from the potential plaintiff or by observing the proper precautions when reporting or making public the information or images they acquire.

The disclosure of embarrassing or private facts relating to a living, private individual that do not relate to a legitimate public concern can become a cause of action for a tort suit, unless the individual has previously provided consent in writing. A tort of false light can occur if the disclosed information is true, but if it is either misleading in its presentation or depicted in a highly offensive manner.

Intrusion is an invasion of privacy tort that occurs by virtue of the act itself intruding into an individual’s privacy even if no public disclosure of information is made. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right of free speech, has not been interpreted as providing a license for reporters or journalists to eavesdrop, trespass or intrude into an office or home, even if done by electronic means.